Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Running on the spot

I feel like I'm running on the spot to stop myself going backwards.

Here I am working another 5 day 12 hour week to get through marking assignments and delivering lectures. Last week end I almost had the first book of the new fantasy trilogy finished. But now I won't get back to it until after next weekend. (I'm a guest at Conquest over the weekend). And in the meantime I'm mulling over ideas for the next King Rolen's Kin trilogy.

What I'd really like is uninterrupted time to write. (See picture) No stress, no pressure. Yet, according to Andrea Kuszewski over at IEET, stress can help trigger creativity. (See the article here)

'When placed in a situation where innovation was necessary, Ernesto said, “People think beyond the normal capabilities of an object, and try to surpass the limitations it imposes upon itself.” In this way, he describes their behavior as Technological Disobedience, or breaking all rules in which that product’s technology was intended (rule-breaking, like I’ve said before, is one of the hallmark traits of creativity).'

So I hope, as my deadline looms closer, while the bathrooms and kitchens get pulled apart and rebuilt around me, and I continue to lecture and mark assignments in a college that teaches an accelerated curriculum, that some of this 'creativity under stress' rubs off on me.

When it all gets too much, I imagine running away to place with a view of the ocean and a room where I can sit with my computer. I make a cup of tea and shut the door on the world and disappear into my head to write. My husband and family are there in the next room. I can go out and join them any time I like. But they don't interrupt me to tell me the cat threw up on the couch again. They just clean it up themselves. Ahhhh, heaven!

What is your 'happy place' that you imagine when things get too much? For me it involves writing. I can't imagine living without writing.


MataPam said...

My parents always rent a house on the coast for the annual family reunion. I love the views from every single window. I sit and write . . . except I want my big computer. And all my standard reference books. And my dog. And to not worry about the neighbor who feeds the horses doing something odd.

So in my happy place, I have bought the coast house (or that one over there, or maybe one up the hill with the panoramic view, and got all my stuff right there, and the horses are over there, and the dog comes wagging in to check on me periodically.

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Matapam, that sounds just about perfect!

Think I'll join you.

Chris McMahon said...

Hey - who doesn't want uninterrupted time to write?

I'd love to be able to travel most of the year - mostly to ancient sites - and write while I do it. Now that would be cool!

Enjoy Conquest:)

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Chris, I would love to travel to see ancient sites.

I've only been to the UK once, but it was inspiring. And I took away insights that I was able to use in my writing.

Yes, on my dream list of things I would like to do, travel to research is definitely one of them!

Chris L said...

Pressure is what I need. Tonnes of it.

I need a hundred things happening at once, work going crazy, deadlines, people demanding things of me left,right and centre, wanting me to get myself to here or there. Kids needing emergency pickups, dropoffs or both.

My brain kicks into another gear. Ideas blow by like sparks - most flutter away ard die, a few stick and burn.

When I sell stories, they're written under these conditions. Far from paradise, but very productive.

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Chris, I can see where you're coming from.

This works with short stories because you write them in a sustained period of creativity. The idea comes, you scribble away. You leave it for a couple of days, then you come back to it and polish it.

Books are a much longer story. 400 - 600 pages and for me there are 3 of them. I need to keep all the characters, the time lines and the plot intricacies in my head. Otherwise I'll do something stupid like have a character talk to someone I've sent to another city.

That's why I need chunks of time to work on long sustained passages.

Amanda Green said...

Rowena, if I could run away and just write, it would be to someplace with a nice enclosed porch looking out on a long lawn that goes down to the water. There's something about the peace of the water, the sounds of nature that help me focus. Friends used to have a place like that on a lake about an hour from where I live and let me runaway there whenever I needed. Unfortunately, they've sold it and I haven't found an alternative.